Many people understand that it takes quite a few years of extra schooling to become a doctor, but not many people realize that family medicine physicians are required to undergo even further training beyond medical school. Since the specialty was founded in 1969, Southern California has been at the forefront of training and supporting family medicine physicians.
Family medicine physicians must undergo extensive training to provide the best possible patient care across all ages. This training includes a three-year residency program, where physicians are trained to provide care across a human lifespan from birth to death, and additional fellowships in concentrations such as emergency medicine or adolescent medicine depending on their focus. Family medicine residents participate in integrated inpatient and outpatient learning, receiving training in pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, internal medicine, psychiatry and neurology, surgery, and community medicine.
The MemorialCare Medical Group has a residency program for family medicine that was established in 1973, and the MemorialCare Long Beach Medical Center is the home of the Long Beach Memorial Family Medicine Residency Program. In the residency program, family medicine physicians are trained by board-certified family medicine specialists who closely supervise their training. Residents get on hand experience with the most up-to-date medical school training.
“One of the things that drew me in was the multi-faceted nature of the MemorialCare family medicine program here in Long Beach,” says Frank Valdez, MD, Class of 2023. “The program offers training in a variety of interests, such as mental health, LGBTQ/HIV medicine, and working with underserved communities. All of those topics mean so much to me and it makes me happy knowing that I can be trained in those specialties to better help the public.”
Since the Family Medicine Residency program has been around for years, many doctors at MemorialCare Long Beach Medical Center have successfully completed the program. The majority have a similar opinion about it, but with varying perspectives. Each year, the residents have countless opportunities to grow and better themselves professionally, further helping them provide expert care to their patients in the future.
“We pride ourselves on the strength of our training,” says Wendy Linderholm, PsyD, director, Behavioral Health. “We have graduates practicing all kinds of medicine and leadership all over the globe, and we’re proud to share their success stories throughout the community.”
The Family Medicine Residency Program continues to train family physicians in various specialties so that they may provide excellent care regardless of the type, size or location of practice they eventually joined. Many of the program’s graduates come back to Long Beach Medical Center to give back to the community that trained them and maintain contact with the staff and faculty that they forged relationships with throughout their residency.